Clinton's avoidance of press conferences exacerbates tense relations with media

Washington: Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton, one of the most scrutinised figures of her generation, has developed an allergy to press conferences that has aggravated her already difficult relationship with the media but which probably will not hurt her on Election Day as much as Republican rival Donald Trump might expect. The last time Clinton gave a formal press conference was Dec 5, 2015, or 274 days ago, a number that Trump and the Republican National Committee update daily in e-mails to reporters, EFE news reported. The Democratic nominee, whose strained relationship with the press dates back to her time as first lady in the 1990s, has developed a sophisticated media strategy that allows her to tightly control her message and avoid having to face unscreened questions from reporters covering her campaign. Clinton has taken questions in various campaign appearances, including in joint conference of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in August. But only three pre-selected journalists were allowed to pose questions to the former Secretary of State. Candidates nowadays have numerous channels --TV ads, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and their own Web pages -- for getting their message out, and thus it is easier than before for them to avoid unscripted questions, Daniel Birdsong, a lecturer at the University of Dayton's Department of Political Science, told EFE. Clinton therefore has little incentive for holding a press conference, he added. Moreover, the Democratic nominee's treatment of reporters can come across as perfectly appropriate in comparison with Trump, who has banned certain media outlets from his campaign events. The real-estate magnate has not shied away from holding press conferences, however, and for many reporters his rival's reluctance to do the same is a serious issue considering her e-mail and Clinton Foundation scandals and the belief of many voters that she is untrustworthy.